Use these 6 quick infection control tips

Joint Commission nurse surveyor Bill Hansill offers these quick tips for home health staff:

When packing or changing dressings on deep wounds, be careful with the iodoform gauze.

The tip of the gauze protruding out of the bottle needs to be cut off prior to wound packing.

Pull shoulder-length hair back away from your face.

This is especially important during dressing changes or starting an intravenous line. Follow your own policy on cleaning blood pressure cuffs. There is no JCAHO policy mandating frequency of cleaning.

Use proper bag technique on home visits.

Avoid cross-contamination inside your bag by making sure your supplies are clearly visible.

Keep an extra set of sterile gloves available.

You never know when one will tear or fall to the floor.

Place filled specimen containers in safe areas.

Hansill says he has seen staff place specimen containers in their pockets or lay them on car seats. A more appropriate method would be to place them inside a pouch to avoid breakage and possible contamination.

Take special care if your agency uses ID badges on chains.

The long chain with a heavy ID badge often "swings" into the sterile field or hits sterile gloves, causing contamination. The same is true when someone hooks a stethoscope around his or her neck and it falls into the sterile field.